The philosophical work of Jean-Luc Marion has opened new ways of speaking about religious convictions and experiences. In this exploration of Marion’s philosophy and theology, Christina M. Gschwandtner presents a comprehensive and critical analysis of the ideas of saturated phenomena and the phenomenology of givenness. She claims that these phenomena do not always appear in the excessive mode that Marion describes and suggests instead that we consider degrees of saturation. Gschwandtner covers major themes in Marion’s work—the historical event, art, (...) nature, love, gift and sacrifice, prayer, and the Eucharist. She works within the phenomenology of givenness, but suggests that Marion himself has not considered important aspects of his philosophy. (shrink)
This book provides an introduction to the emerging field of Continental philosophy of religion by treating the philosophical thought of its most important representatives, including its appropriations by several thinkers in the US. Part I provides a context to the field by looking at the religious aspects of the thought of Martin Heidegger, Emmanuel Lévinas, and Jacques Derrida. It contends that although the work of these thinkers is not apologetic in nature, it prepares the ground for the more religiously motivated (...) work of more recent thinkers by giving religious language and ideas some legitimacy in philosophical discussions. Part II devotes a chapter to each of the contemporary French thinkers who articulate a phenomenology of religious experience: Paul Ricoeur, Jean-Luc Marion, Michel Henry, Jean-Louis Chrétien, Jean-Yves Lacoste and Emmanuel Falque. This part argues that their respective philosophies can be read as an apologetics of sort, namely as making arguments for the coherence of thought about God and the viability of religious experience, though each does so in a different fashion and to a different degree. Part III considers the three major thinkers who have popularized and extended this phenomenology in the US context: Merold Westphal, John D. Caputo, and Richard Kearney. The book thus both provides an introduction to important contemporary thinkers many of whom have not yet received much treatment in English and also argues that their philosophies can be read as providing an argument for Christian faith. (shrink)
The work of French philosopher and theologian Jean-Luc Marion has been recognized as among the most suggestive and productive in the philosophy of religion today. In Reading Marion, Christina M. Gschwandtner provides the first comprehensive introduction to Marion's large and conceptually dense corpus. Gschwandtner gives particular attention to Marion's early work on Descartes and follows thematic threads through to his most recent publications on charity and eroticism. She explores in detail three prominent topics in Marion's thought: the desire to (...) overcome metaphysics, his reflections on the divine, and his reconsideration of the relation of the self to the other in love. Gschwandtner reveals Marion's thought as a unified whole and provides context for his theological and phenomenological writings. Readers at all levels will find insight into the work of one of the world's most provocative thinkers. (shrink)
This paper employs Ricoeur’s hermeneutic approach to examine how fundamentalist religious communities shape personal and social identity. His biblical hermeneutics is used to analyze how narrative texts of various genres open a ‘fundamentalist’ world, while also challenging his monolithic emphasis on written texts. I argue that a wider variety of texts as well as rituals and other media must be examined, which all inform and display the fundamentalist world in important ways. Second, I employ his analysis of the formation of (...) identity and action to understand how identity is framed and prescribed by fundamentalist communities for their members. Finally, I draw on Ricoeur’s account of symbolism and move from first to second naïveté to provide an account of how fundamentalist communities respond to modernity and the threat of Enlightenment rationality. I argue that, contra what Ricoeur proposes, earlier mythic language was highly polyphonic and not understood literally. Fundamentalist communities move to more literalist understandings in response to modernity. Thus, while Ricoeur’s hermeneutic approach is richly useful for a philosophical approach to religious fundamentalism, the close examination of this phenomenon enables a broadening of Ricoeur’s work on religion, symbolism and identity. (shrink)
This contribution explores the question to what extent religious narratives can move the adherents of religious communities to violence or teach wisdom and compassion, drawing on Ricoeur’s work on narrative, ethics, and biblical interpretation. It lays out Ricoeur’s account of narrative identity, urging him to connect his account of phronesis more fully with his analysis of threefold mimesis in his earlier work. It considers his biblical hermeneutics in light of this work on identity and moral action and suggests that bringing (...) these various dimensions of his work together more fully than he himself does would provide a more substantive account of how identity is shaped in religious contexts. It might on the one hand help us to understand more fully a turn to fundamentalism or religious violence and on the other hand draw more clearly on the phronetic resources within religious traditions, especially as they are expressed in ritual behavior, to combat violence and teach wisdom and compassion. (shrink)
Internet counseling is an area of rapid expansion in the field of applied psychology. Internet counseling or psychotherapy involves a variety of activities such as psychoeducation, individual therapy, and automated self-help interventions delivered via the Internet. Although other professional societies such as the National Association of Social Workers, the American Counseling Association, and the National Board of Certified Counselors have tackled the issues of Internet counseling ethics head on, the American Psychological Association has been conspicuously absent from this debate. Yet (...) online therapy clinics are operating, and intervention efficacy is being studied. This discussion provides an overview of online counseling modalities, details the ethical concerns associated with each, and offers suggestions for the ethical practice of online counseling. (shrink)
Accepting as a given that the humanities disciplines are not product or “results” driven, this paper argues that the core of an interdisciplinary field of medicine and humanities, or medical humanities, is an interpretive enterprise that is not readily open to quantitative assessment. A more humanistically oriented medical practice can derive, however, from the process that produces new insights and works toward the development of a new, mutually shared, and humanizing language.
In this paper I consider Ricœur’s negotiation of the boundary or relationship between philosophy and religion in light of the larger debate in contemporary French philosophy. I suggest that contrasting his way of dealing with the intersection of the two discourses to that of two other French thinkers (Jean-Luc Marion and Michel Henry) illuminates his stance more fully. I begin with a brief outline of Ricœur’s claims about the distinction or relation between the discourses, then reflect on those of Marion (...) and Henry, who although they do not relate them in the same way still together form a significant contrast to Ricœur’s perspective, and conclude with a fuller consideration of Ricœur’s methodology in light of this comparison. I suggest that it is in particular his hermeneutic commitments that lead him both to more rigorous distinctions between discourses and ironically to greater mediation. (shrink)
This paper describes the use of a role-playing exercise to stimulate student interest and understanding in philosophical material. The exercise was designed to work with Hobbes’s articulation of the social contract in the “Leviathan,” but can be modified for any historical illustration of the social contract. The bulk of the paper explains the role-playing exercise, articulates its procedures, characters, and discusses its specific purpose. After explaining the game, the paper offers advice to instructors about the results to be expected from (...) using the exercise and how to relate the game to student assessment. (shrink)
Adolescence is an important developmental period marked by a transition from primarily parental-controlled eating to self-directed and peer-influenced eating. During this period, adolescents gain autonomy over their individual food choices and eating behavior in general. While parent-feeding practices have been shown to influence eating behaviors in children, little is known about how these relationships track across adolescent development as autonomy expands. The purpose of this qualitative study was to identify factors that impact food decisions and eating autonomy among adolescents. Using (...) the food choice process model as a guide, four focus groups were conducted with 34 adolescents. Focus group discussion was semi-structured, asking teens about influences on their food choices across different food environments, their involvement with food purchasing and preparation, and perceived control over food their choices. Focus group transcripts were analyzed using deductive and inductive code creation and thematic analysis. This study found six leading influences on adolescents' food choices and identified additional factors with prominence within specific environmental contexts. This study distinguished a broader spectrum of factors influencing adolescent food choice that extend beyond “convenience” and “taste” which have previously been identified as significant contributors. The degree of control that teens reported differed by eating location, occasion, and social context. Finally, adolescents demonstrated various levels of engagement in behaviors related to their eating autonomy. Identifying the emergent themes related to adolescent autonomy was the first step toward the goal of developing a scale to evaluate adolescent eating autonomy. (shrink)
This is a study of the effects of a number of background variables on ethical perceptions of Mexican and U.S. marketers. This research investigates how a marketer's personal religiousness, relativism, and the ethical values influence in perceptions of the degree of ethical problems in hypothetical marketing scenarios. It also examines differences between Mexican and U.S. marketers on these variables. The results show significant differences in perception between the countries, and we discuss the implications of these differences for cross-cultural business activities.
Reading Religious Ritual with Ricoeur extends Ricœur’s philosophical treatment of religion beyond an analysis of mythic symbols and the biblical texts to religious ritual practices. It also applies his broader hermeneutic lens to liturgical actions and practices in regard to religious truth, language, imagination, and identity.
: This paper reviews current and suggested policies designed to increase organ donation in the United States and indicates the problems inherent to these approaches for increasing organ donation by African Americans. Data from a population-based study assessing attitudes and beliefs about organ donation among white and African-American respondents are presented and discussed. We pose the question of whether it is reasonable to maintain the existing system or whether we should institute a system that uses policies based on the attitudes (...) and beliefs of a minority group that is in greater need than the majority. In light of the discussion, we suggest that the current policies guiding the organ procurement system are not adequate to address existing concerns within the African-American community and that a different set of assumptions may be needed to drive organ procurement policy. (shrink)
This essay collides with the aesthetic of wilderness cultivated by the North American retail chain Bass Pro Shops. Through elaborate displays and décor that render each store part rustic lodge, aquarium, amusement park, natural history museum, and hunting simulator, the stores represent the natural world and its inhabitants as abundant resources for human consumption. The stores’ aesthetic is primarily wrought through the arrangement of taxidermied animals. These animals include both traditional wildlife mounts posed in lifelike attitudes as well as animatronic (...) taxidermy that becomes “alive” in response to players’ achievements in a shooting range game. By exploring the stores’ traditional and animatronic taxidermy as well as its conflation of animal and machine, this essay explores the conception of environmental conservation and animal ontology upheld by Bass Pro Shops. (shrink)
This article tries to grapple with the difficulty of hearing the call of the other and recognizing it as a call that obligates us to ethical response, especially when such a “call” is not issued by a human other but by other species or environmental precarity more broadly. I briefly review how ethical responsibility is articulated by Emmanuel Lévinas and then consider some of the ways in which his philosophy has been applied to environmental questions. I suggest that while some (...) calls might be obvious and obligate by the blatant need almost impossible to ignore, in many cases a hermeneutic context and predisposition is required in order to “hear” a call and understand it as ethically obligating. I conclude with one example of how it might be possible to inculcate such dispositions that would attune us to more careful hearing and might cause us to recognize ethical obligation. (shrink)
This paper examines the extent to which certain aspects of the philosophies of Emmanuel Lévinas and Jean-Luc Marion are directed toward the divine, especially in regard to how they employ religious imagery or even explicitly biblical metaphors, namely those of the face of the neighbor, the glory of the Infinite, the response of the witness, and the breaking or sharing of bread. This will show important parallels and connections between their respective works, but it will also highlight where they diverge (...) from each other. In respect to all four symbols or (biblical) images, I suggest that while it is indeed one (or even the primary) goal of Marion’s work to open phenomenological discourse to enable talk about the divine, Lévinas is instead interested in emptying biblical language of its theological import for purely philosophical (or ethical) purposes. (shrink)
This chapter considers conceptions of the self in three early phenomenological thinkers: Hedwig Conrad-Martius, Edith Stein, and Gerda Walther. Although colleagues or students of Husserl and influenced by his phenomenology, they developed their own phenomenology of the human person in explicit opposition to Husserl’s more “idealist” turn. They remain, however, virtually unknown today in philosophical circles. This chapter seeks to retrieve their philosophies of the human being and suggests that their particular phenomenological approach still has much to teach us, especially (...) in the context of the conversation about the “self after the subject” and the question of inter-subjectivity. (shrink)
This paper suggests that Ricoeur’s language about God can be read as a “symbol that gives rise to thought,” or even specifically as a symbol for “hope.” It examines the tensions found in Ricoeur’s hermeneutics in four layers of such symbolic language: First, the language of faith, for Ricoeur, is essentially circular, is poetic language, a language of manifestation and not of adequation. Second, the biblical discourse is composed of several kinds of languages, a polyphony of discourses that provide different (...) (though individually always incomplete) paths toward God. Third, these discourses are characterized by limit-expressions that introduce extravagance and excess into God-language and open paths to new possibilities. Finally, Ricoeur’s theological language emphasizes paradox, perplexity, enigmas; it stays open toward any thinking about God that gives rise to new thoughts. (shrink)